Amaranthus Caudatus is strange, from another world and our new essential for flower arranging


The most spectacular flower arrangements tend to come up and go, but we are arguing for a downward focus. As in, on flowers leaning theatrically on their vessel towards the ground, sometimes even sliding across the table, for a display that is certainly eerie but also 100 percent fascinating. Our first choice for such a plant is Amaranthus caudatus, which also goes by the name “love-lie-bleed”, quite appropriate given its eye-catching appearance. According to Missouri Botanical Garden, the plant “derives its unusual common name from its tiny, blood-red petalless flowers that bloom in narrow, drooping, acorn-shaped, terminal and axillary panicles throughout the growing season.” In other words, the stems are naturally flexible and covered in dense clusters of flowers. They are not always red however – the Missouri Botanical Garden goes on to point out that Amaranthus caudatus can come in other colors, such as lime green.

Amaranthus caudatus caught our eye when we spotted it on the feeds of a handful of floral designers we admire. “As a florist and nature observer, I like to find unconventional tools for my compositions,” says Carolina Spencer, founder of the Barcelona-based company. Matagalán. Amaranthus caudatus is one of them. “When everything goes up, they fall, and their beauty is just that.”

As Carolina Spencer demonstrates, Amaranthus caudatus orders you to stop and watch.

Photo: Courtesy of Matagalán

A single rod will do.

Photo: Courtesy of Matagalán

“Personally, I think they add a unique movement to my arrangements. They seem to come from another planet not only because of their movement and growth pattern, but also because of their texture, like sweet cotton or a strange little cloud that has just been picked up from the universe and transformed into a flower, ”continues Carolina. “People may think, is this flower dead?” Is this true or false? And I like to make people question themselves.

In this arrangement by Marisa Competello, a cascade of Amaranthus caudatus in two colors looks like a long mane of hair.

Photo: Courtesy of Metaflora

Marisa Competello from cult favorite floral design studio Metaflor is also a fan. “I like to use it for its texture and its dramatic effect,” she explains. We asked him for advice on exactly how to incorporate Amaranthus caudatus in a bouquet. “Typically, I like to use it to spill over from an arrangement onto a surface or table,” she says. Place the stems in the water, as you would any other flower, then drop them as they please.

The award for the most extravagant use of the plant goes to the artist and florist from Portland, Oregon. Manu Torres, which often paints the stems in bright colors not normally found in nature, such as hot pink and blue. Given Amaranthus caudatus Looks like he was grown on an alien planet, Manu’s psychedelic treatment is absolutely correct.


Rosalie M. Dehner